Offboarding describes the process of separating an employee from their position within a company. Where onboarding involves training and familiarizing an employee with their new role and workplace, offboarding entails the handover of work product and equipment.
Offboarding is an important process. It ensures that company information is protected and that teams can maintain continuity and minimize disruption when an employee moves on from the company.
An offboarding process often involves multiple activities and phases. Here are a few things to consider and expect from a typical offboarding process.
A written letter of resignation: While an employee may choose to tender their resignation in a face-to-face conversation, over the phone, or during a video conference, it is customary to also provide an email or written letter confirming the details and timeline of the departure.
HR exit interview: Many organizations will schedule exit interviews with outgoing employees. These interviews help HR teams gather information and answer any questions the employee may have about their benefits, equipment, and final pay.
Handover document: Over their tenure, an employee will likely gather a large amount of expertise and specialized internal knowledge. It is customary for employees in this position to create a document detailing ongoing projects, new points of contact for external vendors, and best practices for their day-to-day work.
Training and duty handover: While the company searches for an employee’s replacement, it is often necessary for them to train colleagues on how to perform the more specialized aspects of their role.
Equipment handover/IT offboarding: An exiting employee will need to make arrangements for how company-owned equipment will be wiped and returned. Oftentimes, an IT manager will coordinate with the employee on how best to facilitate this. This is a crucial step toward ensuring an employee does not have access to company data and information after they have moved on.
Offboarding time may vary depending on the company and role. The employee's notice period will also factor in.
For example, if their notice period is two weeks, they will likely spend a great deal of that time performing offboarding tasks. However, if an employee’s notice period is three months, they may only spend the final month on offboarding tasks and meetings.
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